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Letters Under Rock

(5 customer reviews)

“Letters Under Rock” Poetry Performance collects from many landscapes and faith traditions: Morocco, Ireland, the Sahara, India, Japan, Cambodia, etc. Animism, angels, Tibetan Buddhism, Hinduism, Desert Mothers, Saints, etc. There are rituals, ghosts, forest spirits, rebirth, mollusk that tells a story, dragon, heron, swan. This story reaches across time and space told in love letters left under a rock of an orphan Wanderer and a Nomad.



“Letters Under Rock” Poetry Performance collects from many landscapes and faith traditions: Morocco, Ireland, the Sahara, India, Japan, Cambodia, etc. Animism, angels, Tibetan Buddhism, Hinduism, Desert Mothers, Saints, etc. There are rituals, ghosts, forest spirits, rebirth, mollusk that tells a story, dragon, heron, swan. This story reaches across time and space told in love letters left under a rock of an orphan Wanderer and a Nomad. Written and performed by Cindy Rinne and Bory Thach.


Cindy Rinne is a poet and fiber artist based in San Bernardino, California. She’d like to give some gratitude and shout-outs to a new art publication started during the pandemic called Fish and Zoom, as well as the publication “Agri-Culture” Artillery Magazine, and Elyssar Press who published their book. She also has a solo exhibition called “Magical Realms,” which opens on January 2, 2021 and feature’s Rinne’s fiber art and sculptures at Bunny Gunner Gallery in Claremont, CA. One of her essays is also in the new anthology Feminist Pilgrimage. You can visit her website at

Bory Thach was born in a refugee camp located on the border between Thailand and Cambodia. His family immigrated to the United States when he was four years old. He served in the U.S. Army and deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He received his MFA from California State University San Bernardino. Fiction and creative nonfiction fall under the art of storytelling, while poetry for him is more of a study of language, an art form in itself. His work has been published in Pacific Review, Urban Ivy, Arteidolia, and Sand Canyon Review, as well as Letters Under Rock.

Note: Together, Cindy Rinne and Thach are also both published in We Are Here: Village Poets Anthology by Moonrise Press, edited by Maja Trochimczyk and Marlene Hitt. “Halo” (poem above) was first published by Cloud Women’s Quarterly.

See Letters Under Rock in the Press:

Poetry Letter No. 1

Creativity Crush

Additional information

Weight 6.4 oz
Dimensions 6 × .21 × 9 in

86 pages


Elyssar Press







5 reviews for Letters Under Rock

  1. Michael Thomas Cooper

    It’s basically spirit through the medium of body in action.

  2. Martha Aponte

    Cindy and Bory transformed the Lancaster Museum of Art and History – MOAH into a sacred space by being in perfect harmony with each other. There was something intangible that emanated from their words and choreography that transported the viewers beyond time and space. They produced a unique moment of grace when all the distractions of the world disappeared. Thank you, Cindy and Bory for sharing your sacred choreography with the audience.

  3. Nicelle David

    Letters Under Rock is part poetry, dance, and wearable art – beyond that it is a rare glimpse of artistic intimacy. Cindy Rinne and Bory Thach move with a sense of purpose and sincerity that leave the audience awed by the power of beauty, love, and friendship.

  4. Toti O’Brien

    Cindy Rinne’s and Bory Thach’s Letters Under Rock, (Elyssar Press, 2019) is a thoughtfully conceived art-book that combines text, visuals and choreography (by means of photography of live performance). These diverse elements are seamlessly woven, rather than simply juxtaposed, hence creating a unique, surprising and harmonious blend.

    The volume is composed by five chapters, introduced each by a photo of the performance the authors produced while they wrote the poetry collected in the book. The image gestures us into a cluster of poems that (with rare exceptions) come in pair, lying side to side on the double page, overlapping a delicate, muted design. The visual background, varying for each section, highlights fragments of the textile artwork worn during the performance—also part of this complex, multistranded creation.

    All the poems are letters exchanged by the two characters we acquaint in the photographs. They all start with a greeting: Dear Nomad, Dear Wanderer. They don’t have titles, but on the outer edge of each page words run perpendicular to the text (literally introducing the reader to another plane). One of such words is bolded, and we’ll find it as well in the adjacent poem, of which it is either the secret essence, or a key of interpretation. The vertical string of words, as they darken in turns—upwards here, downwards there, mirroring across—adds yet another layer of meaning. It is both a cohesive device, summing up the peculiar mood of each chapter, and a dynamic one, suggesting a kind of narrative arc. But it could also claim a life independent, be a chant, a proverb, a prayer, a poem of its own.

    The “horizontal” poems, we said, are an epistolary duet between Nomad and Wanderer. The two voices are extremely tuned, so much that the back and forth is perfectly smooth. The overall feeling, while reading, isn’t “checkered,” but compact and whole. The two appear to “speak the same language,” with very distinct accents.

    Longing is the language. In the Nomad’s voice it is usually expressed more openly, with a degree of intensity causing it to morph sometimes into an invocation, sometimes, to become a lament. In the Wanderer’s voice, it takes usually a more filtered form—emotions are present, more decanted and somehow condensed. This subtle diversity of tone is enough to create the tension needed for propelling the dialogue—which is dense and simultaneously ethereal, abstract, universal.

    The two speak to each other—no doubt—but when and where from, we don’t know, and we can’t really determine the nature of their connection. They speak of inscrutable distance, yet we are aware they are so close, they can hear each other think. Clearly, they are suspended in an out-of-time, out-of-space dimension where past and future collude and “place” is the entire planet, or the surrounding universe.

    Our destiny rotates from age to age. (Thach, 27)
    Reality and make-believe
    blur between
    reflected lines. (Rinne, 32)

    We gaze in two planes intersecting.
    The future a compass, a map
    made of soundwaves. (Rinne, 52)

    What the characters express, again, is their mutual longing, a theme that, as we all know, has many variations—loneliness and melancholy, despair, regrets, memories, dreams, desires, fantasies, promises and hope—which they articulate through an opulent lexicon drawn from all sorts of myths and traditions (hence confirming the feeling of being scattered across geography and chronology, endowed with a kind of bird-eye perspective overlooking life in its whole). Those forays into spirituality and history are never erudite. Always lyrical, they expand and animate the text.

    None of the religious or mythical references has a crucial role. What does is nature, the matrix to which both Nomad and Traveler intimately belong—soul-and-body as one—into which they often seem to morph. They definitely speak nature’s tongue. Their voices are, in fact, the refraction of nature’s voice.

    […] We are children born
    from nature,
    wading through fields
    to stay afloat (Thach, 47)

    You left. This caused me pain,
    but a gain of freedom to believe
    all things meant tearing,
    like pulling out cacti by their
    roots laid bare (Rinne, 48)

    An endless stream moving in circles.
    Joyful sorrows rooted in my bones
    only to whisper old songs of impermanence. (Thach, 49)

    Nature permeates the book in capillary fashion. Keenly observed and deciphered, also honored as the highest source of knowledge and guidance, it anchors the dialogue, keeping it from drifting into a purely emotional discourse. In fact, both poets fundamentally interact with nature, earth, and the elemental, also identifying with life’s vegetal and animal forms.

    As the exchange proceed, we realize that they are walking parallel paths, never touching—each accomplishing her/his initiatic journey while the other function as witness, as mirror.

    […] We meet inside a cloudy mirror
    that reflects life at first sight. (Thach, 53)

    A waking dream like gentle breeze, eyes lonelier than
    moonlight paints your bones, I cannot reach your essence. (Thach, 59)

    As if they were addressing, truly, a part of their selves, only apparently separated and vividly recalled. A part they can only reach, reintegrate, by ultimately accepting to let it go.

    On multiple readings (the book calls for them—attractive, compelling, it offers multiple ways to dance along), the mysterious dual flow of poems takes yet another shape. It feels like the replay of one’s entire life that occurs instants before one’s death.

    The verse captures both the agony (meaning the struggle, the passion, the intensity and acceleration) and the final, freeing, blissful release.

    Vacate my body,
    capture the beginning again. (Rinne, 78)

  5. Mona Perez

    In Letters Under a Rock poems guised as letters are beautifully exchanged between A Nomad and Orphan Wanderer. It is a very well written collection of performance poetry
    Sprawling over various landscapes. It touches on spirituality such a Buddhism and Hinduism. I was deeply inspired by the unique collaborative style of the authors Cindy Rimme and Bory Thach. I found the vivid scenic and nature imagery described powerful, placing the reader fully in its moments. Throughout the collection I found myself especially enjoying the love components of the work. My favorite excerpts included:

    “In waiting between worlds with you a very word and phrase, a memory left in verse”

    “Life gives me love, seeking truth and hope, I exist only with you by my side”

    “Beauty intoxicates,
    Youth vanishes,
    Leaving behind a injury,
    I’m damaged by your charm,
    I don’t regret tomorrow,
    Because of you”

    Letters Under a Rock is a very special written journey full of dreamy elements, fantasy, and space. I believe diverse readers will be captivated and appreciate this true work of art.

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